Single Sided Stories
A few years ago, my car broke down at a very inopportune place and time. I was in the middle of a small rural town, during an ice storm …after dark. While I waited for my hero (aka Sean) to brave the icy roads in his dinky Audi TT, I sought refuge at the only place that was open– the General Store. The couple who owned the store were nice and pleasant and very hospitable to let me wait inside.
They did not, however, let me use the restroom and they had quite a tale for why not. Being near the Appalachian Trail, they come in contact with a lot of thru-hikers. In fact, they used to let the hikers camp out in their backyard.
"The whole field would be filled with tents and sleeping bags," the man had said.
Well, one year, the hikers got dreadfully ill and as can be expected, made quite a mess. The couple even described vomit on their walls. As if that hoopla wasn't bad enough, the hikers then turned around and blamed the couple for their illness.
"The authorities even came and investigated us. They didn't find a single thing wrong," the woman had said, "What they don't realize is hikers always get sick. It's normal. [she named some virus]. It's from lack of hygiene."
Because of that horrible experience and how ungrateful the hikers were, the couple no longer let thru-hikers camp in their backyard and they wouldn't permit anyone, including me, use their restroom.
The next day, warm and safe and sound in my own home, I did a web search so I could get the couple's names and address and send them a thank you card. It was then I discovered, the couple left out a key piece of information:
During the investigation– the authorities found FECAL MATTER IN THEIR DRINKING WATER!!!!
A convenient tidbit to leave out, huh?
Well, today I had a similiar discovery. Last week at the Brookfield, Wisconsin Farmer's Market I was drawn to a booth that featured a live bloodhound. I pet the dog and then listen to the handler, a woman named Penny Bell, talk about the dog's capabilities and all the wonderful finds and victories her other bloodhound has done. She bragged at how her dog was the only K-9 unit authorized to go to 9/11. Then she went on a rant for sometime about how the police refuse to use her dog.
"They would rather get their overtime pay knocking door to door than find a lost child," she said.
I have to admit, it really was infuriating to hear her tales of how the police would rather fill their wallets than to let a dog (whose services are free) help local families.
Anyway, I didn't have any cash to contribute last week at the booth, but it did seem like a worthwhile cause. So today, I did a quick Google search so I could send this dedicated dog handler a donation.
Lo and behold, the top results are affiliated with FRAUD.
In Penny Bell's rants she left out a couple of details– including how she was witnessed dragging the dog in the direction she wanted it to go, how for one of the dog's key "finds" they were actually nowhere near the body and how experts agree bloodhounds can't pick up scents that are over two years old. Also– it sounds like she wasn't the only K-9 unit at 9/11 either.
I suppose it is possible this is a smear campaign by those who feel threatened by Penny and her dog (I'm skeptical though). Either way it does serve as a good reminder to me that there are two sides to every story.
Until the Lion Learns to Speak
So I'll wrap this all up with another K'naan Quote:
Until the Lion Learns to Speak, Tales of the Hunt Will Be Weak
It's a paraphrase of a Muslim saying reminding us that history is often written by the victor, the conqueror, the hunter. Until we hear the stories of the "loser", we really won't know the full story– We won't know the lion's side.
Recently Clint posted an article about the Baltimore Police arresting a couple for merely asking directions. I was just as outraged as Clint at the story (especially knowing how many times I've been lost in Baltimore and D.C.) and also wondered what kind of horrible, unreasonable people are being staffed by the Baltimore Police. But after this morning's Bloodhound discovery, I think I'll hold back for now. Maybe…. just maybe, there is another side to this story as well.